Once upon a time, there was a fairy tale that had no ending.
Strictly speaking, it very possibly had no beginning, either. Is “Once upon a time” strong enough to hoist a story into existence based on its long history and general cultural significance?
Hard to say. But the lack of ending? Definite. I mean, someone stuck “and they all lived happily ever after” somewhere in the middle
(I’m not good at this kind of math. Is there a “middle” without a beginning or end? Does it just make “the words on top” into the beginning, even if they don’t really start a story when they’re supposed to do so?)
—but there wa no tale.
So many Faeries.
Because they realized, eventually, they could do away with all the trappings. The Enchanted Kingdom? The Princesses and Princesses and all the bits in-between? The enchanted frogs and toads and toadstools and the enchanted apples and the poisoned cufflinks and the magically delicious crowns? All gone.
(And certainly no Dragons. Let’s not even mention them, lest they be summoned.)
so. many. Faeries.
Just hanging about. From the walls, from the ceiling, flitting from kitchen to closet like the world’s most malevolent moths.
Because they realized they could feed on the tale. And make more of themselves.
And the tale is a trail, for it leads from the world of the imagination and the page, to the world of the word, and right to your brain.
And right now.
There is no ending to this story.
No “happily ever after”.
Not for you.
For the Faeries?
Oh, the Faeries are always happy.
But that seldom means joy for others.
We have forgotten that.
We had forgotten that.
But we’ll learn.
Oh, how we’ll learn.
And they all lived, and are living now, and there was no “ever after”, only this present moment, this strangely sideshifting shapetwisting crosswise cockeyed peculiar space which is Theirs, for this moment and every moment, like a road that goes ever, ever on, but it doesn’t lead you anywhere you want to go.
Not that anywhere is free.
* * *
(you know, I presume, that Faeries cannot abide Iron. You might have thought this meant horseshoes, or anvils.
But it really means the iron in human blood.
For when our blood is stirred enough, is boiling enough, we can fight them, supernatural though they are. And they might not win.
They have enticing glamour; unnatural, ungodly beautiful glamour; they show you everything you want to see. But you can see more than just what you want. If you work at it. If you get mad at it.
Fight through illusion and look for something solid. Maybe not Truth—that’s a hard thing to distill into mortal perception—but something strong and heavy and real enough that you could use it to nail a Faerie to a wall.
Like I said:
This story has no end.
Because this story isn’t over.
Here’s my novel, “There and NEVER, EVER BACK AGAIN“.